Molesters have never had a good name. They sneakily prey on others, mostly women, to get their clandestine pleasures. Some molesters go for underage children, even more despicable. So one must truly wonder what is happening to Japanese culture where gangs of gropers (known as chikan, the term meaning groping, touching, rubbing and illicit photo taking) stalk trains to inappropriately touch women.
Estimates are that two-thirds of women commuters have been touched on the trains. Japan has long had overpacked commuter trains where employees cram people into each door until they’re packed tighter than sardines, unable to move at all. A claustrophobic or asthmatic person would not survive long on these trains and I wonder how well short people endure, squeezed amongst the muffling coats.
So one must presume that these gropers pick lines with a bit less restriction as no one would be able to even move their hands on the crushing commuter lines. In fact, there are websites dedicated to this pervasive perverseness. They indicate the best lines to hit for a grope and where the best escape routes are. Most of the women attacked have been in their teens and twenties, the majority underage schoolgirls in uniform. What it is with the pedophilic fancy for women in schoolgirl outfits runs the edge of creepy and I suspect most women who even dress up in these outfits veer away from thinking about what it means when a grown man is attracted to a schoolgirl.
Some of the chikanhave organized into gangs that separate out a woman, surround her and block other people from seeing what is being done to her. Not much different from gang rape. Yet it is such a problem in Japan that they have women-only trains (as they have had in India for years, because of cultural moires more than groping issues), but the problem is still prevalent. Japan also has a secluded nightclub set up to look like a commuter train, where women stand like commuters and men wander through, groping at will. They can touch any way they desire as long as they don’t ejaculate on the trains. At least that is done by consensual people on both sides.
This behavior is disgusting and offensive on a lot of levels and yet another example of where women are sexualized and treated as nothing more than toys for the perversions and pleasures of men. It would be interesting if roving gangs of women started applying pliers and vice grips to mens’ genitals, or goosing them with giant silicone phalluses. However, the only problem with a reciprocating gang is that two wrongs don’t make a right and innocent men would be targeted. Still, you don’t hear of women running around and groping.
The biggest concern that I see in all this is what is there in this specific culture that encourages and entices people to fall into public groping, where other cities and countries don’t suffer the same problem? Is it the Japanese work ethic, which keeps people working too much (and where some will kill themselves to save face) that has them implode into irrational, law-breaking behavior? Is there a restrictive sexual attitude in this society that causes men to push outside the restrictive boundaries? What factors play in making many men sway to the pedophile and sexual aggressor mode?
It’s well known that in Thailand’s sexual economy, the biggest purveyors of pedophile trysts are Germans and Japanese. Why? Japan even has an underground trade where men will pay for a pair of underwear that has been worn by women. And yes there are women in other countries who mail their underwear to such purchases. But what is it about these cultures that raises the number?
The Victorian era was known of a time of prim properness, where ladies were ladies and men acted like gentlemen. Yet it also had the Hellfire Club, a place frequented by nobles and politicians to carry out rakish and immoral acts. Again, is it the very repression of a society that pops perversion to the surface? It makes one wonder at what must be going on in Afghanistan. And yet, in all these sexually unacceptable acts, it seems to be men perpetrating their base desires on unwilling women. It really makes me wonder when we took the civilized out of civilization, if it was ever there.